Puppies encounter stress and learn to deal with it from the moment they are born. If we walked by one, I might just as well have turned around and gone home as take her in the ring. The method I first learned has now garnered the rather unappealing name “force training.” Here, you put the dog on a lead and choke collar (we didn’t even have pinch collars when I started) and gave a command. This technique is highly effective and will work with young dogs even more quickly than it does with puppies. Getting an Akita. They both did woodworking in their spare time and had built identical benches around trees in their back yards. Ian Dunbar makes a particularly cogent observation about Oriental breeds, especially Japanese ones. In addition to putting them on the scale, you should hold the puppy, stroke it, and talk to it. Now I would insist that the dog go to a training class, and that the less-assertive mother be the one to train him. Assertive responses include pawing or biting at the tester’s face and hands. They also show a strong tendency towards independence and some tendency to resent unpleasantries. Owners of a less-forgiving puppy should be encouraged to find a training class with positive training methods. A dog that can’t be trusted to leave other animals alone on neutral ground is a real liability. Do plenty of research before you think about getting an Akita. Studies of twins separated at birth have confirmed the inheritability of temperament just as studies of identical twins living together show the powerful influence of environment on these elements. That’s what makes them desireable companions. If your puppy or dog locks eyes with you, he is issuing one and he’d better look away first or you’re in trouble. Make sure you will be able to give them the time and attention they need. First, the Shepherds (and the other guard-type dogs, such as Rottweilers and Dobermans) are much better area guards, especially if the owner is in a situation where he needs or wants outsiders to be aware that dogs are on the premises. Other clues to his temperament can help you make your assessment. Is this a vicious dog, turning on its owner or engaging in an unprovoked attack? We have back-door garbage pickup, which means the garbage men have to come inside the gates. Your best course is to do nothing until the dog’s flight response begins to shut down. This is a submissive response and very acceptable. You have to work harder to reinforce correct responses and learn to shrug off those times when your dog adds a new wrinkle. I also require contractually that puppies be taken to training classes. You will seldom be in a position to judge the accuracy of their reasoning, and if you like the dog, your regard may shade your opinion, too. When these bonds form there are of course signs of affection. You can put a stop to this by introducing some variety and perhaps some levity into your training routine. Very few Akitas are actually “spooky.” Instead, they are cautious and careful. If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with a number of training classes, before you sell puppies, take a tour and watch how the people train. Undoubtedly, Japanese breeders selected for the more aggressive dogs throughout the years the breed was used for fighting, but I’m sure their choice to use the Akita in the first place had much to do with their innate desire to scrap with other dogs. Fortunately, dogs are very adaptable and better at understanding people than we are at understanding them. Your dog may be less than enthusiastic about visitors. This breed, though, likes to make the first move, and you may find the friendliest dogs seem uncomfortable with someone who forces attention on them. None of them grew up to be intransigent monsters, but they were very independent dogs. The next time she tries to take him out, several factors come into play. Talk to the trainers about Akitas and see if they are receptive to having your puppies in their classes. If you don't meet these requirements, your best bet would be to adopt a dog of a different size or characteristics. Certainly, the worst- case scenario is a dog that is left outside all the time in a house with little social activity and that is rarely taken anywhere else. Before adopting an Akita, it is crucial to spend time researching how to train this particular breed. They may follow for a few steps and then drift off to explore. Liking children is very important in our breed because when Akitas do bite, the victim is quite likely to be a child. In today’s litigious society, the consequences of an attack that damages someone else’s dog can be severe indeed. As puppies, they are very careful and quite cautious. So does how they follow. Hearing the screams, the mother rushed out and yelled at the dog, who immediately let go. They are less concerned with me and even less with my husband, probably because we are the dominant people. If he breaks the stay, correct him and put him back in it. Puppy Aptitude Testing helps match people to dogs and dogs to training methods, which is one reason I strongly advocate its use. For instance, suppose the dog lives with a couple. Eventually, the visitors can give him treats for good behavior. They may greet the person and immediately wander off. She lets go, makes apologies to the friend, and they both leave the house. Let us know in depth about these individual breeds of A German Shepherd will quickly learn to sit anywhere because he generalizes well. We stayed that way for what seemed like an eternity, then he clicked his teeth several times, turned around and trotted out of the room as if dismissing me.” She goes on to say that “no one ever really owned him.” His place in the family was undisputed, but he wielded his authority with great dignity. Seventh, an Akita should stable around strange noises. An alternative scenario given the same relationships is that the wife opens the door and admits the friend. Obviously, they need to try a different training method that takes into account a slower ability to generalize. He asks her to leave if she can’t put the dog up. All sorts of techniques can defuse the dog’s suspicions. Of course, you need to discuss this with your trainer first so she doesn’t think you’re being uncooperative. The lessons they learn here will remain with them all their lives which is why leaving the litter together past the traditional six weeks is vital. When an Akita is barking, pay attention. Friction occurs most frequently in the middle and upper management individuals. The husband is very strong but the wife is a shy, non-assertive person. I’ve got several excellent sites linked on my web page. He is responsible for the welfare of the group and charged with its protection. The best way to avoid tragedies is to make sure you sell puppies only to homes where they will be kept inside. Through the dog training books at vour local library, you have access to some of the finest trainers in the world and a plethora of training methods. The dog has reached its level of incompetence. While the height of the threshold at which a dog will bite may be initially determined by inheritance, it can certainly be raised or lowered by training. Confident dogs can reach into their bag of tricks and find a way to deal with the unusual. A submissive Akita is not the same thing as a submissive Chihuahua. For instance, one set of twins separated at birth were phobic about water but wanted to swim. Once again I agree with Jimmy. Then she did a double-take and sniffed the child statue, sniffed the adult, then tried another wag. Certainly not! Hi, I'd love to know how affectionate your Akita is and how they show it. Pick your battles carefully. You and the rest of your household should jump right in with the rest of the puppies, teaching them that humans are very delicate beings. At ten years of age, the dog is now nearing the end of his life. Northern-dog independence, however, runs more to outright defiance if the dog is determined enough. From the outset, you should pick up each puppy and handle it. Play a radio on rap, hard rock, and talk stations. The sun was behind them, so they appeared in silhouette to me and were so lifelike, I thought they were real. I don’t think so, but it is certainly an “eye-of-the-beholder” question. Each time they conquer a problem, they gain confidence in their abilities and in you. Any stressful situation he encounters should be mild enough for him to overcome. Its fanciers realized that continuing to pit them with dogs like the Tosa might be the death-knell of the breed. I didn’t until I got the dog I’11 call Babe. I can’t; it is such a pervasive part of the breed that we just accept its presence. The demands of such activities have shaped our selection for less dog-aggression in our Akitas, and I think this is perfectly acceptable and somewhat desireable. Akita puppies may jump off towards the tester once and to the side the second time. Some of the health problems associated with Japanese Akitas include: 1. They are also fairly staunch in the face of all noise. Retrievers like balls and sticks, pointers will freeze when shown a bird wing, and Akitas should be attracted to children. In fact, among the lower-status members is an element of contentment. Mutual respect is the key to working with Akitas. Everyone who has Akitas knows that they are independent dogs. Over the ensuing years, learning research has supplied additional tools for working with dogs. Sooner or later, they feel compelled to use the Akita as a demonstration dog, so they take it away from the owner and try to make it do something. And, are they a one person dog? It contains what I consider essential components of good temperament for an Akita, why I think they are important, how to tell if you have problems and how to strengthen weaknesses. Ask specific questions about the dog and his behavior so that you can identify any problems that might be developing. It is obvious in puppies as they work through the PAT. To determine this, you have to look at function. Calling what he thinks is a bluff, the trainer may meet the challenge by some sort of discipline, perhaps a jerk on the collar or a smack. It can happen anywhere. When you send your charges on to new home, you don’t need to scare your buyers to death, but you should make them aware of appropriate behaviors. Here, he will learn to take cues from you and other humans and dogs. Characteristically intelligent and friendly, these dogs share the love in ways similar to many Asian breeds. Don’t strike the dog or shake him. This doesn’t mean he won’t do it, just that he might not. I asked her if he bothered any other children, and she said, “No, only this boy. You may also be battling a dominance problem, which is covered in another section of this discussion. Affection and social interaction in reptiles like turtles can be a strange and subtle thing. Taking them away too early can deprive them of valuable lessons in life. just wondering... i adopted a 15 month old female akita two months ago. Little holds their interest strongly. Until very recently, I had both German Shepherds and Akitas, and I have found many differences in how they respond to strangers in the house and outside the yard. He is able to make the connection that the same action is called for regardless of where he is spatially. Instead of regarding the dog as her husband’s major inconvenience, she has developed a deep rapport with him. Was this version of the Akita a ferocious pit dog? It is covered on both sides with chain- link to keep it from being eaten. You can strengthen bite inhibition throughout the dog’s life. Not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Further, in guard-type breeds, distrust may be encouraged, since any stranger at the house would be a subject for alarm. Less social puppies may balk at the come but warm up to the tester by the time he is walking about. If someone else is with you, you can both talk in a normal tone until the dog calms down. To some extent, their sense of loyalty is the fount from which other traits arise. In the same vein, when my younger daughter was about ten, I asked her to put our three-year old male in his run while I talked with some people interested in Akitas. Breeding is after all a balancing act, so had we been unable or unwilling to sacrifice breeding these dogs, we would have looked at lines very strong in temperament and bred to something line- or inbred on it. My first encounter with this is an excellent example. I have set very strict boundaries but I believe my dogs love me more for it as they have no questions about right or wrong. It's not an aggressive act either, and while it can be painful when they pinch skin, they are showing affection to you! Some dogs will be happier (and humans safer) if we find other ways to express our love. He may whirl around and face the instructor, a very mild refusal, or he may growl. I talked to this man several times and finally agreed that the dog had a chance with him. Certainly, Akitas today seem less dog-aggressive generally than they were twenty years ago. In contrast, we’ve had Akitas who have resolutely refused to participate. Having failed to make his point, the dog ups the ante and tries or succeeds in biting the trainer. (Permission to reprint is granted by the author provided such reprint is for information purposes only and is not conveyed for any commercial consideration and further that it is credited to the author, Sherry E. Except when hunting or fighting, they are rarely risk- takers. See what he does. Akitas may consider small animals as prey and hunt them. This is a challenge to his authority. The puppy should immediately let go and will probably lick a couple of times. It starts as a game and then escalates to serious dislike. If he follows you, see where he positions himself and how he carries his tail. They can also be more dominant, strong-willed, and have more of a tendency toward aggression toward people and other dogs if not raised with enough structure, socialization, and consistency. I walk her all the time, feed her, play with her, groom her, and train her. Most dogs aren’t so neurotic, but you never know what will happen. When puppies play with each other, they engage in biting behavior. In fairness, this action wasn’t all that difficult since none of these dogs were big winners, and in accordance with Murphy’s law, the very best ones in terms of conformation had some of the weirdest behaviors. In obedience and agility, the dog works off-leash, so he has to be reliable. He started to go down, taking the treat in his mouth. Before I send them off, though, I talk to the new buyers about training classes and discuss a few problems they might encounter because they have an Akita and not a Border Collie. What surprises Mr. Yoshida the most is Hokuto’s affection. He’ll be easier to deal with later when something needs to be done your way. When we test puppies, one of the things we do is put them on a box, stand in front of them, and call them. The female was unconcerned initially, but after about ten shots, she turned around and looked at me for reassurance. Just as some people cannot learn a foreign language, a few of these people will never have a clue about their dog’s real personality. If you don’t have children, you may not feel so strongly about this. The more dominant puppy will step on the head or push away the less dominant one. What Does This Mean To You As the Breeder? I had one Akita who liked certain crates. The dog stands between them and displays some hostile body language that makes the friend wary. I never could discern what characteristics made an acceptable crate, so I have a varied collection of broken ones, courtesy of Max. For these dogs, obedience training is a godsend. Appropriate reading material, such as Mother Knows Best and a good training book or video can provide a basis for understanding their dog. A few nights before at class, I had given him a down command along with one of his favorite goodies. We are not raising Poodles or Golden Retrievers, and if we wanted that type of dog,we certainly wouldn’t be in Akitas! Like scores of other Akitas, her training has been so effortless, that we can easily say, she’s had none. The roots of dominance behavior are found in the dynamics of the pack, the social unit into which canines organize themselves. Magnum brings me toys to play and he knows when mom's had enough not to push it. Others lie still for a second, then struggle briefly before calming again. Then, he circled the child and watched sharply. Even mild Akitas do not take well to corrections from strangers. This disussion of temperament was originally published in Akita Dog, the newsletter of the Akita Club of America, and later in Akita World magazine. They certainly don’t seem to need others in the way wolves do for example. Akitas, like many hounds, have a very low tolerance for repetition. So, in Oriental countries little if any entertaining is done at a person’s home. ), THE JAPANESE AKITA WELFARE TRUST WOULD LIKE TO THANK SHERRY FOR THIS ARTICLE AND FOR ALLOWING THE TRUST TO USE IT AS PART OF IT’S EDUCATION PROGRAMM. He should not respond to stressful situations by becoming increasingly excited or agitated. Simply stated: Don’t use any dog for breeding if it has bitten a human. A very independent puppy makes a poor candidate for a home where no one is at home during the day or where he is left outside most of the time. Don’t ignore thesr resources. This attraction is very different from the protectiveness of guarding and herding dogs. I asked her to return the dog to me, offering her a replacement from an upcoming litter. He gets first pick of the food and gets as much as he wants. The family can respect the dog’s decisions or be so much more dominant than he is that the dog recognizes their authority and respects them. Akitas, especially males, are very aware of status and, in addition, are rather independent in nature. This website uses cookies for functionality, analytics and advertising purposes as described in our. Unless a corporate takeover is in the works, no one challenges his authority in the slightest way. Unless your Akita has a show quality pedigree, he or she is probably not a good candidate for breeding as it is an expensive and time consuming process. In the worst case, the dog may have a panic attack. They tend to get calmer and less responsive. I was so alarmed, I was frozen to my spot and could only watch as she gently turned her head and gave him a big lick.’ Lucky me and lucky child! At a rest area, she was squatting taking care of her business as I looked out at the park, when a toddler seized her from behind Hugging her, he put his head up against her spine. More typical for the breed in my experience is a puppy that first busies himself exploring the area, looking around and sniffing. We’ve all seen dogs react poorly to loudspeaker announcements, falling chairs, or other unexpected sounds at a show. You will be bitten because that’s how puppies test their world. If dogs could talk, they’d probably call this game “Chase the Prey.” Given the right set of stimuli–the right movements, the right sounds, the right smells–this can become pursuit in deadly earnest. Maybe they figure we can look out for ourselves most of the time. Even though she has no CD, she is a very trainable and well trained dog! He should be willing and able to learn behaviors that he repeats reliably. I personally tested a litter where all the dogs scored in the medium to upper ranges on the entire temperament test. Akitas are typically inhibited as opposed to excitable, a set of inherited characteristics that mark the dog’s response to stress. Then, their play can become more active. So did Babe. She is his responsibility. She trotted right up to the child and stood there wagging her tail. They seem, however, positively thrilled to see a person, even though they don’t know him, and bound over to the tester. Even the most stable dogs can put two and two together and get five. Place your hand across his chest, then restrain him and observe his reaction, After about 20 seconds, let the puppy up. Most Akitas will not tolerate another dog of the same sex, and some won't tolerate the opposite sex either. Pick a dog that suits the personality of the least dominant person in your family. Ninth, an Akita should have an inhibited nature. Historical data tell us that the native dogs of the Dewa area were also crossed with European dogs to increase their size and, therefore, their fighting ability. Because the willingness of the dog to bite a person has a genetic component, the safest option in breeding is to select dogs that have never done so. If the head honcho does intervene, his discipline is quick, sure, and accepted by the offending parties. Several weeks later, a similar circumstance arises. The first section of the test deals with social attraction and dominance measures, and you can use these yourself to select a puppy with an appropriate temperament for you even if no testing has been done on the puppies you are looking at. Her mother, on the other hand, would have bolted out of there at the first shot, so I think early exposure has helped. They certainly were pitted against similar dogs. The dog won’t openly defy you, he just won’t cooperate. (If you’re thinking, what kind of trainer would do this, believe me, some really good ones can get caught in this trap before they realize that it is one). Extend your indications of discomfort to bites on your clothing as well. This may be a crate or your windows and doors. However, you should at least try to never double up on dogs that do not like them. Cora however is a sweetie and usually lays on the couch with her head in your lap. These owners will require a disproportionate share of mentoring to stay on track. If your face is being bitten, however, this distinction will be of little concern to you. Any harder temperament, and she’d be the looser in a contest of wills. A resistance to stereotypical behavior does not make a dog dumb; it makes it more flexible. Otherwise, ignore him and continue your conversation with your friend. Without it, we’d have a totally different breed without the reserve and dignity so typical the adult. Sixth, an Akita should be trainable. I’ve heard this story so many times, I now tell puppy buyers never to let their instructors take a dog once it is an adolescent or older. Putting dogs in a situation where they can fence-fight builds up a lot of unresolved aggression. Others remain with the tester but stare off into space. Not letting him bite you or your clothing is the first and most important step in doing this. Representatives are found throughout the Arctic and northern temperate areas and include the Pomeranian, Keeshond, American Eskimo, Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Eskimo Dog, Siberian Husky, Norwegian Elkhound, Norwegian Buhund, the Russian Laika, the Karelian Bear Dog, the Korean Kendo, as well as all the native Japanese dogs. When you start a new training exercise with your dog, whether it’s heeling in obedience or stacking for conformation, your dog will demonstrate signs of inhibition. The tone to strike is as if someone has told you a mildly amusing joke. Branch Show will be held on Sunday, Feb. 14. The Shepherds wouldn’t let anyone inside the fence, no matter how many times a week they showed up. Of the Akitas I have observed, the vast majority show medium to extreme submissiveness on the PAT. Unfortunately, not every area has enough trainers for you to pick and choose, in which case, you will have to get additional help. They may never cause problems to your furniture or shoes. Puppies are raised inside our home with lots of affection and socialization. I’ve had puppies and young dogs go bananas over a mailbox or garbage sack. Put a chew toy in the litter box and see which dogs end up with it. Both the JACA and the AKIHO LA shows start at 10 a.m. and finish around 2 p.m. Looking at the way an obedience trial championship is obtained, it’s hardly a surprise that most of the dogs achieving it are herders or gun dogs. Anyway, I only mentioned the dangers of encouraging "demanding behaviors/dominance ploys" because most novice owners and/or newbie Akita people do NOT recognize the fact that a dog who noses, paws, barks at, stares down (etc.) Great Japanese Dog, Japanese Akita, American Akita : Breed Type : Purebred : Purebred : Purebred : AKC Group : Not recognized by the American Kennel Club. What would a shepherd do if his helper suddenly decided that running back and forth around the sheep was boring? Originally developed for guide dog organizations to aid in selection of promising youngsters, these tests are valid for other applications as well. These dogs have certain common traits: short, erect ears; mesocephalic heads with oblique-set eyes; double coats; and tails that curl upwards in some fashion. Problems arise when the position of the dog is at odds with the other members of the group. As soon as a puppy mouths you, even if he does not bite hard, you should mimic his littermates and give a high-pitched yell. Best Answer Akitas also like to nibble or "flea-bite" those that they love. At first, this will be when you weigh them after birth. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972 as a Working breed. With Akitas, this tendency to be wary of strangers is something that needs to be selected away from in breeding and trained away from throughout the dog’s life. To determine whether fear and perhaps flight are justified, the youngster will look to his mother, his siblings, and to you. The handler then shifts her position, in place, a quarter turn to the left. Each of these dogs is prone to various medical conditions that can become a serious problem, especially as they get older. His inclination to do so is reinforced by the husband’s body language. The more puppies are exposed to manageable stress, the less inhibited their response will be. Somehow, she seemed to think they were mobile and any minute, one would make an appearance. Few I’ve seen are ever reckless. He does not approve of the wife’s decision to take him out of the room, since he will then be unable to protect her from what he considers a threat, so he tells her he does not approve of her actions by growling. The expense is negligible when you consider the tragedies it can prevent. In the best case, the Akita turns into a sack of meal and steadfastly resists all their efforts to elicit a proper response which just makes the trainer look like a fool. One of the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had was when one of my Shepherds encountered a bronze statue in a neighbor’s front yard. To encourage this, I help buyers locate classes and provide information about them and rebate $50 when they bring me a certificate that says they graduated from a class. He really only cares about his family and a few of our friends, but he tolerates strangers. In so doing, the dog is learning not only to handle the particular situation he encounters, he is learning to learn. Of course, the Shepherds wouldn’t let them in at all. Anyway, the Akita barely escaped with its life. They were not eager to meet strangers but tolerated them. Please be specific. They accept new surroundings, people, and situations with aplomb and react, if not positively to change, at least without anxiety. The Akita’s independent nature may well modify its willingness to cooperate. my last one was not affectionate at all she would lay on the couch butt facing you and if you got her on the bed she would stay 2 seconds and leave. Obviously, the Akita fits nicely with this group of dogs. I am alpha and I dictate when things start and stop. I told her the dog’s behavior posed a significant risk to this child. First, dogs are learning regardless of whether they are in class. Vendors at most shows carry video tapes and other equipment, and seminars are held all over the country by Karen Pryor, Gary Wilkes and other excellent trainers. This alteration is due in part to selection for less aggressive dogs and in part to better training techniques such as early socialization of puppies, continued exposure of adult dogs to strange dogs, and obedience training of young dogs. They also show a strong tendency towards independence and some tendency to resent unpleasantries. Oriental countries little if any entertaining is done at a few nights before at class, I have tested mildly... And call him in a long night-gown, scream when they get there tells you something about the sex... So close rewards are decreased and eventually ceased tricks and find a way for him to enforce his status... To lick my wife see this '' to us gets into trouble can only last for long! With a policeman who trained his Akita for K-9 work how they can feel the vibrations your. 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